Ohio State's Columbus, West Virginia's Morgantown: A Tale of Two Cities

Tim McGheeCorrespondent IIINovember 16, 2009

CINCINNATI - NOVEMBER 13:  Ryan Clarke #32 of the West Virginia Mountaineers rushes for a 37 yard touchdown in the second quarter of the game against the Cincinnati Bearcats in at Nippert Stadium on November 13, 2009 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

It was the best of times, it was the, well, really...it wasn't too bad.

Amazingly, Charles Dickens still applies after 150 years.

One city got a fair shake from the officials. The other, well, uh, not so much.

The replay guy in one city stayed on Google searching for 3-D images of Jennifer Love Hewitt while his counterpart looked for and got the perfect opportunity to directly affect those in the other city by playing kingmaker in a third city.

How bad was it? This bad: even ESPN's Mark May, not known to be a friend of West Virginia, stood up for the Mountaineers.

Let's try to leave the armed robbery alone for now.

Can't do it.

Despite West Virginia's propensity to consistently hand over their wallets in the form of turnovers and poor play calling, that intrusion by the attention-seeking, top-ranking-team suck-up replay official was a seven-point swing. This is not to mention the momentum that permeated through the Cincinnati crowd and was vacuumed out of the Mountaineers at a bad time.

Meanwhile, Notre Dame (what?!!!) got boned in a similar fashion at Heinz Field, the home of the future opponent of Cincinnati which will essentially be the Big East championship ga—don't get me started.

Too late.

There is enough evidence of (can't use foul language in the B/R forum) in the $crew Everyone (else) Conference and the Big Easy (for two) Conference to warrant an NCAA investigation.

An investigation by those backing the Bowl Championship Series where money talks and three losses or more walks?

Yeah. Right.

In one city, they boo the coach. In the other city, they boo the coach.

Tough room.

In one city, the coach is booed by those (read: many) who think his play calling is much too conservative. 

In the other city, the coach is booed because that city just doesn't like any coach.

In one city, the coach has led the team to a conference championship and a berth in the granddaddy of them all, but is still booed. 

In the other city, talent has been squandered (refer to Mountaineer Ryan Clarke, pictured) in that city's inability to finish off quality opponents, resulting in the coach being the recipient of major boos.

Neither of them really deserve the boos, but such is life in major college football.

"It is a far, far better thing that I do than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known."

That's Dickens' last line in his historical novel A Tale of Two Cities. And, that's the difference between the Rose Bowl and the PapaJohns.com Bowl.


I heartily recommend Hangover Easy on Neil Avenue in Columbus. The Pabst Blue Ribbon is exquisite on game day.  If PBR was good enough for my good friend during his time at a top-notch engineering school, it's definitely good enough for me here in the 21st century.